“He’s showing up for a payday,” Ali Abdelaziz claims Dan Hooker will be showing up against Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 for payday only

Ali Abdelaziz claims Islam Makhachev is going to be too much for Dan Hooker and he'll be coming at UFC 267 only for payday.

Ali Abdelaziz, Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev
Ali Abdelaziz, Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev

The number 6th ranked UFC Lightweight fighter, Dan Hooker accepted a fight against the number 5th ranked Lightweight fighter, Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 which will take place on 30th October in Abu Dhabi.

Hooker is stepping into this fight on short notice as he recently secured a win against Nasrat Haqparast on UFC266. Now due to New Zealand’s strict COVID restrictions, his return home is indefinite. While the CEO of Dominance MMA, Ali Abdelaziz respects Hooker for picking this fight on short notice, he also believes ‘The Hangman’ will only step inside the Octagon for a paycheck.

In his recent interview with MMA Junkie, Abdelaziz says, “It doesn’t matter who you’re gonna put in there. If I have to rank Islam today in the pound-for-pound list, I promise you he’s top five pound for pound. I believe he will be one of the greatest UFC fighters we’ve ever seen.”

“I’ve been training with Islam for seven years. I see him beating DC around, beating Luke, giving Khabib his toughest rounds. I believe he’s something special. I believe he’s destined to be a world champion, and people can say whatever they want about him. They know in their heart and soul that he’s the toughest fight they can ever get.”

Ali Abdelaziz continued, “Much respect to Hooker, they can say whatever they want. He’s showing up for a payday, and I respect Hooker a lot. He’s a nice guy. I respect him as a fighter, too, but he can say whatever he wants, his coaches can say whatever they want, he’s getting paid to show up. The only way he can win is a lucky punch.” {h/t MMA Junkie}

Ali Abdelaziz believes the best of Islam Makhachev is yet to come

Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev
Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev will be coming into this fight with an eight-fight win streak and even after recently defeating fighters like Thiago Moises and Drew Dober, Abdelaziz believes the best of Makhachev is yet to come.

He added, “You have not seen relaxed Islam Makhachev yet, Little by little, he’s getting more relaxed and looser. But I’m gonna tell you, loose Islam will beat some of the guys in the top five in the welterweight division, too, and he’ll beat some guys in the middleweight division, too. He is this good.”

Also Read: “I hate to see people getting pushed that are not exciting,” Justin Gaethje slams Islam Makhachev.